What do you deeply long for?

A Monday Meditation for July 19, 2021

St. Peter’s-

For the "I’ve Been Meaning to Ask" series this summer, our Monday Meditations will be written by various members of the St. Peter’s community.    


This week, Sarah Scholl answers the question "What do you deeply long for?” as we think about “Where do we go from here?”  

When I was invited to write this meditation, I didn’t respond right away. Writing has never been easy for me. My ADD and perfectionism always battle each other, and somehow they manage to both distract and hyper-focus my attention at the same time. This is how you will find our overwhelmingly cluttered master bedroom under the same roof as my meticulously organized pantry. If you are reading this and thinking “Same!” – I see you. 


So when I received a second gentle nudge to write, I admitted that I had been waiting. For inspiration. For spirit magic. Or maybe a bit of both. I re-read the writing prompts, and there was one question that I just couldn’t shake: What do you deeply long for? 


For me, the answer is always more time. Time for the people I love. Time for projects. Time to take better care of myself. You can fill in the blanks. Time is simply my most precious commodity. And if I’m being honest, my longing for time can sometimes take a darker turn. It is hard for me to name out loud that some of the time I long for cannot ever really be. Time to spend with my dad…pre-cancer. Time for my parents…to enjoy the retirement that they deserve. Time to relax with my family…without riding the rollercoaster of fragile mental health. 


Anyone who has battled cancer or supported a loved one on that journey knows how cancer affects time. So much of your time and energy is completely out of your control. Filled with medical appointments. Filled with calls on hold to insurance companies. Filled with sleepless nights…perhaps battling side effects…or Googling treatments…or battling anxiety. So. Much. Anxiety. 


So last weekend found me attempting to make up for some lost time. Traveling to my hometown to stay with my parents for only the second time since the pandemic. As you can imagine, the longing for this kind of quality family time has been acute. It was on my drive to their house, though, when I knew the weekend would have its challenges. As text messages came in rapid-fire from my dad…I just knew. This might not be the relaxing, restorative family weekend we all craved. There would be moments of laughter and game-playing and storytelling, to be sure. There would also be tension. The kind of tension that comes with navigating cancer. Cancer that is every bit as exhausting mentally as it is physically. You see - Dad is in his 11th year of battling multiple myeloma. Eleven years. Eleven years of powerful, life-saving, miraculous medication. Medication that has also taken a very real mental toll. 


On this particular visit, my dad was battling racing thoughts. For months, he has worried over the farmland that borders their property. The old maple tree that my brother and I used to climb had now grown so much that some of its limbs stretched long and low over the neighboring field. The tree needed to be trimmed back, and the job was long overdue. AND, my dad decided that the job needed to be done that day. He decided that Adam, the kids, and I could handle it with a (too-short) ladder, a (rusty) handsaw, and a pair of (manual) trimmers. Needless to say – it wasn’t pretty. 


It wasn’t the work that needed to be done, it was the lack of planning for it. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to help, it was that we weren’t prepared to do so. Most of all, it was just that my big softie, kind-hearted dad can sometimes be really argumentative and controlling when he is cycling through a rough patch. And understandably so. Dad has lost so much control over his day-to-day that little problems get really big, really fast. We can understand all of this and still long for the easier times that we all shared pre-cancer. 


But then spirit magic happened. Growing up in the country, I still long for the quiet out there. Just being there allowed me to take some deep breaths and pause in the middle of that big job. It allowed me to really see my husband and kids – whispered complaints, heavy sighs, exaggerated eye rolls and all – still, just getting the job done for my dad, for their grandpa. Somewhere between those rusty tools, and tense teamwork, and my own quiet tears…I found a little peace.  I realized that while none of us were expecting to do that job that day, we would get the job done. I also realized that it meant my dad could look out his back door months from now and still see a clear path for his neighbor to tend his field. My dad could look at that giant pile of limbs and know that we love him.  


Last weekend, the sacred found me in that old maple tree. It reminded me of something that a dear St. Peter’s friend said to me several years ago: “Time stretches when we are doing God’s work.” It reminded me that our time and energy really can stretch when it counts. To do what is needed. To do what helps. To quiet our own worries, or maybe someone else’s too. So today - what do I deeply long for? To remember that time is a gift that stretches. 

What do you deeply long for, St. Peter’s family? 



Sarah Scholl

Music Ministry Team Leader